Great Ways to Work Out Indoors
Don't let winter weather freeze out your workout
Marvelous Machines continued...
Pino and Calgaro both recommend doing a circuit-type workout, alternating
work on any cardiovascular machine with some strength exercises.
"Warm up with about 2 to 3 minutes on the treadmill," says Pino,
"then get off and do a set of 10 to 15 bicep curls. Then go back to the
This kind of workout keeps you from getting bored and keeps the heart rate
up, he says.
Calgaro recommends a workout that alternates 5 minutes on the elliptical
machine, two strength moves, and 1 minute of recovery, repeated six times. For
example, alternate 5 minutes on the elliptical machine with 15 assisted squats
and 15 crunches or 15 standing lunges. (All these strength moves work several
major muscle groups at the same time.)
"It shocks the system and spices up the workout," she says.
If you're usually an outdoor exerciser and want to maintain your fitness
level, Pino says, choose indoor activities that mimic your outdoor sports. For
example, if you usually walk or ride your bike in a hilly neighborhood, choose
the hill profile on the elliptical machine or stationary bicycle.
Or, you might decide to do something entirely different when you move your
"Changing activities will allow your body to recover from the hard
summer and fall programs but still challenge you," Pino says.
Winter Workout Tips
Our fitness experts offered these tips for winter workouts:
- Dress in layers, whether you're outside or in the gym. As your body
temperature heats up, you can shed layers to keep from overheating.
- Hydrate. Drink plenty of fluids. This is easy in the summer when it's hot,
but in winter, we are consuming more hot coffee, tea, and cocoa and less water,
which can lead to dehydration.
- If you work out at home, make sure the floor you're working on is
appropriate, says Calgaro. If you're in the basement on cement, for example,
put some kind of mat down to protect your feet, knees, and back.
- Bring a change of clothes if you're working out at the gym so you don't
have to get out in the elements all sweaty and wet.
- Even when you're exercising at home, find friends or neighbors to exercise
with. "Have two to five people come over and do a workout time," says
Swain. "You can sit and talk about a book or eat together, why not work
- Think about ways to incorporate more activity into your daily life. We all
tend to move less in the winter.
- Don't use winter as an excuse to stop exercising. Make working out
something you want to do, not something you have to do, says Khan. Add variety
to your exercise; change the order of your workout. On the days you just don't
feel like exercising, complete just one set of 10 strength exercises (one for
each muscle group) and you're done.